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CPU cooling in 2017: AIO vs Air cooling?

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
Hello, how are you?
I was searching the web on the subject and I keep finding lots of posts and discussions about this.
I keep finding that AIO coolers are only for aesthetics as top air coolers deliver about the same performance while beeing quiet and more reliable.

But what I find are posts and discussions from 2013 and 2014w when the best AIOs where the Corsair h115 and such.

Meanwhile thee have been many new AIO models released and I guess the technology probably is better now.
On the air coolers, there haven’t really been nothing new for a couple of years and the top performers then, like the Noctua D15or the IB-e extreme are still the best air coolers today.

So I ask this, how is the situation today? Have AIO caught up and are air coolers now obsolete in performance terms?

thanks.
cheers!
post #2 of 61
First off, don't confuse all AIOs with CLCs. AIOs are All in One liquid cooling that at present time include 2 kinds of pre-build and filled liquid coolers; AIOs that are CLCs and AIO that are not CLCs. CLCs are assembled is ways that meke them near impossible to repair with no way of topping off coolant. Almost all CLCs are made by 2 companies; Asetek (who owns the USA patent rights to LCLC and CLC concept of a pump mounted on waterblock) and IDCooling. There are 2 basic low cost pump designs that are basically the same flowing about 40-60 liter per hour coolant through low cost aluminum radiators that require high airflow to cool well. By comparison the pumps in AIOs flow significantly more coolant, use copper radiators, threaded fittings, fill port and are much better made. Swiftech H series pumps flow up to 660 liter per hour and Alphacool OEM AIO pumps flow 72-100 liter per hour. Alphacool OEM are Ftheir own Eibear, Fractal Design Kelvin and be quiet! Slent Loop.

As a comparison the D5 pump (arguable the most popular custom loop pump) flows up to 1500 liter per hour.

In all honesty there have has been little to no improvement in the most commonly sold CLCs . They depend on different looking pump covers, fancy fans, and other bling to promote new models. People jumped on the CLC wagon because they were able to have 'water cooling' without really understanding that the only thing CLCs and real water cooling have in common is 'water'. tongue.gif Many who still push the CLC hype do so with no understanding of how much different and better real water cooling is. Many think airflow ratings are key to how well a fan performs when the reality is fan pressure rating is more important than airflow rating ..but that's another story.

A good air cooler and case fans cost less than a wonky CLC, will cool better, will be way more dependable, will be quieter, and the only thing that might go bad in 5-8 years is the fans and they can be replaced without braking the bank.

Short version; Get a good case, some good case fans and an air cooler to "Live long and prosper." biggrin.gif
post #3 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by doyll View Post

First off, don't confuse all AIOs with CLCs. AIOs are All in One liquid cooling that at present time include 2 kinds of pre-build and filled liquid coolers; AIOs that are CLCs and AIO that are not CLCs. CLCs are assembled is ways that meke them near impossible to repair with no way of topping off coolant. Almost all CLCs are made by 2 companies; Asetek (who owns the USA patent rights to LCLC and CLC concept of a pump mounted on waterblock) and IDCooling. There are 2 basic low cost pump designs that are basically the same flowing about 40-60 liter per hour coolant through low cost aluminum radiators that require high airflow to cool well. By comparison the pumps in AIOs flow significantly more coolant, use copper radiators, threaded fittings, fill port and are much better made. Swiftech H series pumps flow up to 660 liter per hour and Alphacool OEM AIO pumps flow 72-100 liter per hour. Alphacool OEM are Ftheir own Eibear, Fractal Design Kelvin and be quiet! Slent Loop.

As a comparison the D5 pump (arguable the most popular custom loop pump) flows up to 1500 liter per hour.

In all honesty there have has been little to no improvement in the most commonly sold CLCs . They depend on different looking pump covers, fancy fans, and other bling to promote new models. People jumped on the CLC wagon because they were able to have 'water cooling' without really understanding that the only thing CLCs and real water cooling have in common is 'water'. tongue.gif Many who still push the CLC hype do so with no understanding of how much different and better real water cooling is. Many think airflow ratings are key to how well a fan performs when the reality is fan pressure rating is more important than airflow rating ..but that's another story.

A good air cooler and case fans cost less than a wonky CLC, will cool better, will be way more dependable, will be quieter, and the only thing that might go bad in 5-8 years is the fans and they can be replaced without braking the bank.

Short version; Get a good case, some good case fans and an air cooler to "Live long and prosper." biggrin.gif

Thank you for taking the time to write such a complete answer.
So, all those corsair, nzxt, arctic cooling and such are all the same with those weak pumps and not so good performance.
But what about the other types?
Like the bequiet ones with the cooper radiators and different pumps?
How do they compare to a top air cooler like a D15?

Also, why aren't there any new top air coolers being launched?

Cheers!
post #4 of 61
Just much easier to build with a AIO than big cooler like D15 these days. The performance these days is about the same. It mostly depends in the fans used and how laud you want them.
Ishimura
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Ishimura
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post #5 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdourado View Post

Thank you for taking the time to write such a complete answer.
So, all those corsair, nzxt, arctic cooling and such are all the same with those weak pumps and not so good performance.
But what about the other types?
Like the bequiet ones with the cooper radiators and different pumps?
How do they compare to a top air cooler like a D15?

Also, why aren't there any new top air coolers being launched?

Cheers!
No problem.

What other types? There are only the AIOs like Swiftech, Alphacool, be quiet! and Fractal Design sell and CLCs like Corsair, Enermax, Lepa, Nzxt, etc. made by Asetek or Apaltek. There many be others, but I don't know of them. Asetek USA patents and now China patents have limited who can make what. wink.gif

Here is link to who make what AIO and CLC
http://www.overclock.net/t/1491876/ways-to-better-cooling-airflow-cooler-fan-data/60_20#post_23781217

And here is link to what I've been able to find about AIO and CLC pump and radiator specs.
http://www.overclock.net/t/1491876/ways-to-better-cooling-airflow-cooler-fan-data/80_20#post_23828310

The AIOs like Silent Loop cool about same at about same noise level as big air coolers like D15 with case airflow setup properly.

Here is guide to setting up case airflow.
http://www.overclock.net/t/1491876/ways-to-better-cooling-airflow-cooler-fan-data/0_20#post_22319249
post #6 of 61
Thread Starter 
I was looking at the bequiet silent loop models.
From your post, they have a pump that puts 72l per hour.
That is about a fifth of the capacity of the pump a swiftech h220 x2 has.
The swiftech also has a stand alone reservoir.
How much better is the performance?
And how would you say it compares against a nh-d15?

Cheers
post #7 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdourado View Post

I was looking at the bequiet silent loop models.
From your post, they have a pump that puts 72l per hour.
That is about a fifth of the capacity of the pump a swiftech h220 x2 has.
The swiftech also has a stand alone reservoir.
How much better is the performance?
And how would you say it compares against a nh-d15?

Cheers

Those do not make much of an difference.
Ishimura
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Ishimura
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Silent Knight
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post #8 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZealotKi11er View Post

Just much easier to build with a AIO than big cooler like D15 these days. The performance these days is about the same. It mostly depends in the fans used and how laud you want them.

At like noise levels, performance is not about the same. Changing fans does not change the (inefficient) aluminum rad's need for more air. You may be able to get a slightly quieter fan, but the amount of air passing through the rad and the noise that makes to achieve the same result will stay the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdourado View Post

I was looking at the bequiet silent loop models.
From your post, they have a pump that puts 72l per hour.
That is about a fifth of the capacity of the pump a swiftech h220 x2 has.
The swiftech also has a stand alone reservoir.
How much better is the performance?
And how would you say it compares against a nh-d15?

Cheers

I know that @doyll has tested the BQ, while I have not. But I have tested the H220-X against the NH-D15:

post #9 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdourado View Post

I was looking at the bequiet silent loop models.
From your post, they have a pump that puts 72l per hour.
That is about a fifth of the capacity of the pump a swiftech h220 x2 has.
The swiftech also has a stand alone reservoir.
How much better is the performance?
And how would you say it compares against a nh-d15?

Cheers
I'm using be quiet! Silent Loop 280 on one of my systems and love it! I've tested / tried many other AIO and CLC and Silent Loop is only one I've used for longer than it took to do the testing. I've never tried a Swiftech H series.

Swiftech reservoir is on the radiator.

Swiftech is best of the AIOs.

Silent Loop is as good as D15, but AIO is much more complicated bit of equipment than air coolers are, so obviously there are more thing that can and sometimes do go wrong with them .. which is why all but one of my systems are air cooled. wink.gif

edit: ciarlatano's testing shows how good Swiftech 240 radiator is. Bigger radiator is a few degrees better.
Edited by doyll - 10/7/17 at 9:14am
post #10 of 61
Thread Starter 
The AIO have an aesthetic appeal that's for sure.
But an air cooler like a silverarrow with two ty 143 fans can also look nice.

I am starting to get interested in the swiftech also, the more I read about it.
But it is expensive. The h240 is 170 euros.
100 more than a d15.

I don't know of it is worth it.
I am thinking about getting an 8700k, and from reviews, that chip gets hot overclocked...

Cheers
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